Roots That Run

a story
2013-07-25 17:25:24,
2020-01-11 18:12:53
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The usual commotion at the Land’s Edge on a Cielday; Alexander sat at his table in the back reading his book, Franklin sitting on the table with his shot glass of water , next to Alexander's whiskey. Rilain was off doing whatever she wanted, business had been pouring in since returning from Kuu two months ago, and now they had hit a low spot. It was time to relax and take a chance to catch their breaths, make repairs, and restock supplies. It gave Alexander a chance to catch up on his reading. Ruby had just given him a book she had found about a thief so good he stole the moons right out of the sky. It was an interesting legend so far, since it kept his attention.

The bar livened up as a group burst in through the doors, shouting and causing a ruckus as they walked towards the tables. Alexander had his nose buried in a book or just didn't care to see the group of pirates walking towards his table.

As they reached the table, the leader announced, “I'm John LaRue, the Pirate King of Prush and we will be taking this table."

The bar had grown quiet after that statement, and then laughter erupted, someone stating, “What a bunch of losers! Stealing from Prush is like taking a wheelchair from a cripple.”

LaRue and his men didn't seem to like the jokes and insults, for they had not been out there for a while. Alexander just kept ignoring them, knowing that there was no time to waste on punks.

Franklin squeaked, “These guys are stupid looking,” as he sipped his water.

Alexander chuckled. “I know what you mean,” he said, picking up his glass taking a nice long sip.

“Are you listening, you one-eyed chanka shit? This is our table, so move or we'll beat you up,” LaRue screamed, his temper starting to flair.

“Are you done yet? I'm trying to read this book and enjoy a drink here," Alexander said, placing a bookmark in his book to keep his place. "Now, what was it you were saying? I wasn't paying attention," he said with a yawn.

LaRue didn't seem to like the response. He was furious, starting to reach for his weapon. Ruby rushed in to defuse the situation, but LaRue didn't seem to like this and slapped her in the face, causing her to fall into an empty table.

The bar had grown deathly quiet, but Franklin broke the silence with an angry-sounding squeak, "Murder them! Murder them ALL!"
Alexander got up from his chair and moved over to where Ruby had fell to see if she was alright. A nasty-looking cut on her forehead had started to ooze blood.

For a brief second, he was overcome with rage. He reached for his revolver and shot the crewman to LaRue's right and left in the head, two other crewmen started to move for their guns. Crack went his revolver and two more men fell. LaRue looked around for help, but his pleads fell on deaf ears.

Alexander handed his gun over to Ruby who emptied all his remaining bullets into LaRue's body as he tried to beg for his life.

"Whoever helps get rid of these bodies get free drinks for the rest of today," Ruby stated as she handed Alexander back his revolver. She tried to stand up to go sit down somewhere, but ended up stumbling away.

Alexander walked over to help her. "Alright, let’s get this cut cleaned up and get you to bed," he said as they started walking slowly to her room upstairs. She smiled.

"This brings back memories of us back in the day, before I got the Lands Edge, doesn't it?" she said.

"Those were good memories, but you didn't really like all the traveling. This life suits you more," he said as the reached her room. He cleaned up her face and it was lucky she didn't need stitches just a bandage. "You should get some rest. You'll feel better with a nap," he said walking out the door.

"Thank you," Ruby said, lying in bed.

Alexander walked back down to the bar, passing the other girl, using the rooms to make a living. The bartender called Alexander over. It seemed he received a message and a package arrived from Kuu. Alexander was curious to find out what it was.

On the way back to the Gazelle, he decided to make a short stop to clean up some loose ends with the rest of LaRues crew and ship.

"Now you're the pirate king of Prush," Franklin squeaked and Alexander stopped in his tracks as he boarded the Gazelle.

"That is a horrible joke, my friend. You should feel bad about that joke," he said, trying to breathe from laughing so hard.

Alexander reached his cabin, sitting down in his chair. He opened his package and it was full of old pictures of his family that his aunt had taken, as well as a note telling him the young Queen was throwing a masquerade ball and more of his family was coming. He had been invited to this event, since his family was apparently very well respected and high up in the aristocratic world; they were rich filthy stinking rich.

Alexander decided to get some rest, since they had a busy day of planning and prepping for another voyage across the ocean again, but it seemed it would be worth it. It wasn’t going to be for the money because Alexander was well off from the faking of Rilain's death and a few other high-paying contracts, but he liked living day by day. Money and power just seemed to corrupt, but he enjoyed having an emergency fund. Rilain hadn't returned yet from whatever she was doing these last couple of days, perhaps chasing after rumors and myths of creature that might not exist.

Alexander finally succumbed to his exhaustion and let sleep claim him. Morning came quickly and he started making preparations ready for a voyage. He stopped by the bar to see how Ruby was feeling, to place orders for more rations, and to get his usual crate of whiskey for long trips.

Hours had past and he and Franklin kept busy by doing inventory. It was quite a tedious process, but it had to be done.

Another night came and went and early in the morning, Rilain shuffled back on board. She looked tired, but she wasn't carrying anything, so it seemed to have been an unfruitful hunt. Alexander tossed her rope, telling her to tie down all loose objects aboard the ship. They set sail at noon and then hurried off to finish the final preparations. He also mentioned if he caught her sleeping instead of helping, he would kick her off the ship. So she hastily went off, doing her chores.

The final checks were finished when Ruby stopped by with the case of whiskey and a few meads for Rilain. They hugged and she wished them fair seas and following skies, an old sailing saying. She knew the meaning would get across to Alexander.

The engines began to hum, the sails unrolled, the docking cables released, and the Gazelle slowly ascended into the skies to set sail at a steady pace. Rilain went to sleep as Alexander continued their normal conversation topic, even though it looked like he was talking to himself.

The Gazelle made anchor early at the same rock it did last time. It seemed like a good in between spot for a few days trip. Rilain took her watch and they headed below deck to eat, have a couple drinks, and read a little bit before falling asleep.

Morning came quicker than Alexander would have liked, and Franklin was being annoying too, bouncing on Alexander’s chest because he was hungry.

"Alright, alright, I'll feed you," he said, dragging his body from the comfortable bed. "You couldn't have given me thirty more minutes, or even five minutes more?" He yawned as he walked to unlock the door and make something to eat.

As they walked down the hallway, Franklin was still saying, "Feed me! Feed me! Feed me!"

Alexander was tired and cranky still. "Alright, that's where we're going," he muttered.

Once they had eaten, they headed topside to get things started and the motors winced slowly, pulling up the chains one by one till the anchor was locked up in place and they ready to start sailing again.